Performance 8: William Kentridge: I am not me, the horse is not mine

Mar 4, 2010


William Kentridge. I am not me, the horse is not mine. 2010. Performed at The Museum of Modern Art, 2010. © 2010 William Kentridge. Photo: Paula Court
  • MoMA, Floor T1, Theater 1 Gallery Theater 1 Gallery

In this solo performance, South African artist William Kentridge (b. 1955) combines narration, video projection, and a vocal and instrumental soundtrack. Part lecture, part theatrical monologue, part installation, I am not me, the horse is not mine is based on the absurdist short story The Nose (1837), by the Russian writer Nikolai Gogol, which follows the travails of a pompous Russian bureaucrat who wakes one day to find his nose has escaped his face and assumed greater clout than he. Presented in conjunction with the exhibition William Kentridge: Five Themes, opening at MoMA on February 24, 2010, the performance reflects the artist’s interest in the rise and fall of Russian modernism and explores the idea of the artist’s control—or lack thereof—over his own creations through the presentation of multiple selves.

I am not me, the horse is not mine was first performed at the Sydney Biennale in 2008. It is part of an extensive body of work Kentridge has developed in recent years in preparation for his production of Dimitri Shostakovich’s The Nose, which premieres at New York’s Metropolitan Opera on March 5, 2010.

The performance begins at 7:00 p.m. Tickets ($20 general; $15 members; $12 students, seniors, and staff of other museums) can be purchased at the lobby information desk, the film desk, or online.

The performance is organized by Laura Beiles, Associate Educator, and Pablo Helguera, Director, Adult and Academic Programs, Department of Education.

The Performance Exhibition Series is organized by Klaus Biesenbach, MoMA Chief Curator at Large and Director, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center; and Jenny Schlenzka, Assistant Curator for Performance, Department of Media and Performance Art.

The Performance Exhibition Series is made possible by MoMA’s Wallis Annenberg Fund for Innovation in Contemporary Art through the Annenberg Foundation.


Installation images

How we identified these works

In 2018–19, MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos. That project has concluded, and works are now being identified by MoMA staff.

If you notice an error, please contact us at [email protected].


If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

MoMA licenses archival audio and select out of copyright film clips from our film collection. At this time, MoMA produced video cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. All requests to license archival audio or out of copyright film clips should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For access to motion picture film stills for research purposes, please contact the Film Study Center at [email protected]. For more information about film loans and our Circulating Film and Video Library, please visit

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].


This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].